Chromecast ‘A Real Hit’

Google Says More Than 3,000 App Developers Are On Board
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Google still hasn’t revealed any specific sales figures for its Chromecast streaming adapter, but company execs continue to claim that it’s been a certified winner so far.

“Our $35 Chromecast is a real hit,” Nikesh Arora, Google’s SVP and chief business officer, said on the company’s first quarter earnings call on Wednesday, recalling that Google launched the Google Chromecast to an additional 11 countries last month.

The Chromecast debuted in the U.S. last July, and quickly sold out. Speaking at the SXSW conference in March, Google SVP of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai said sales were in the “millions” of units. 

On the call, Patrick Pichette, Google SVP and CFO, would only say that Chromecast sales in the quarter were “strong.”

While consumers have found that the Chromecast offers a good mix of price and simplicity for bridging OTT content to the TV screen, the number of apps optimized for the platform remains lacking when compared to competitors such as Roku, which this week announced that it now supports more than 1,500 “channels,” up by about 300 from its previous count. 

With recent additions factored in, the Chromecast now supports Rdio, VUDU, Photowall, Crackle, Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play TV & Movies, Google Play Music, Vevo, Red Bull.TV, Songza, Plex, PostTV, Viki, and RealPlayer Cloud. Users can also cast a Chrome browser tab from their PCs or laptops to the TV.

But that number is expected to explode following the February release of the Google Cast Software Development Kit. According to Arora, more than 3,000 developers worldwide have signed up to bring their apps and Web sites to the Chromecast, which is now sold in more than 6,000 stores.

Google Fiber Non-Update Update

Google execs had little new to say about Google Fiber, which has deployments underway in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, and plans to start connecting homes in Austin, Texas, by mid-2014.

Google is also exploring whether to bring Google Fiber to an additional 34 cities, and expects to make those decisions later this year.

“We’re basically working directly with them to look if we have the right conditions to actaull go to the next stage, which would be the build,” Pichette said, noting that 1 Gbps is “becoming the standard and we're absolutely thrilled for all of the users out there that can think in one day they will get a gigabit of asymmetrical Internet at reasonable price.”

Among recent activity on the expansion front, Google Fiber has reached a tentative franchise agreement in Portland, Ore., The Oregonian reported Wednesday, adding that it represents just an initial step and that it doesn’t guarantee that Google Fiber will actually deploy its network in the city.

If Google Fiber does move forward there, it will face off with Comcast, Frontier Communications and CenturyLink Communications.

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